Publication Date

8-13-2021

Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)

April 2021

Type of Culminating Activity

Thesis

Degree Title

Master of Arts in Anthropology

Department

Anthropology

Major Advisor

Cheryl Anderson, Ph.D.

Advisor

Kristin Snopkowski, Ph.D.

Advisor

Pei-Lin Yu, Ph.D.

Abstract

This research investigates the use of heritable nonmetric traits as a means for assessing population variation and biological relatedness within an archaeological sample using the commingled human skeletal tomb assemblage from the Bronze Age site of Tell Abraq, United Arab Emirates (2100-2000 BCE). A total of 410 individuals representing all ages and both sexes were interred in the Umm an-Nar period tomb. An analysis of sixteen heritable nonmetric traits was conducted on the adult human skeletal remains for both cranial and postcranial elements. Of the eight elements analyzed, one element in particular displayed anomalies rarely described in archaeological contexts. Seven patellae were identified as emarginated, six as bipartite and one as tripartite. The frequency of traits found here are inconclusive in suggesting biological homogeneity or heterogeneity. However, the baseline data provided here may be useful in investigating biological homogeneity in other studies in the future and may allow us to look at social practices such as marriage patterns. These data may also provide an additional line of evidence to the previous hypotheses concerning consanguineous marriage for this assemblage.

DOI

https://10.18122/td.1838.boisestate

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